Five Democratic members of Congress who represent the D.C. region have sent a letter to the head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), requesting a formal study of helicopter noise that is bothering residents.
D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Virginia Rep. Don Beyer, and Maryland Reps. Jamie Raskin, Anthony Brown, and David Trone sent a letter to GAO Comptroller General Gene Dodaro on Monday, pointing out that some of their constituents have noted “recent increases in the frequency and severity” of the helicopter noise.
The members hoped that a study would help “identify strategies to minimize the negative impacts of helicopter activity without impeding the work of agencies operating helicopters in the region,” which includes law enforcement, military, and medical endeavors.
“Many of our constituents live with the impacts of regular helicopter noise that interrupts sleep patterns, causes their homes to shake and negatively impacts their quality of life,” the lawmakers added in the letter.
Inbox: "Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), joined by Representatives Don Beyer (D-VA), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Anthony Brown (D-MD) & David Trone (D-MD), today wrote the Government Accountability Office (GAO) requesting it conduct a study of helicopter noise" in the DC area pic.twitter.com/z80EjUEUl6
— Andrew Giambrone (@AndrewGiambrone) January 28, 2019
Congress members have sought a response from GAO within 30 days. They also want the office to study the types of helicopters that generate noise, options for noise mitigation, the current flight paths in the region, the number of flights every day, as well as neighborhood impacts and altitudes.
While confirming that the office received the letter, a spokesperson from GAO said it would be reviewed before “any decisions are made,” adding that the process takes a few weeks.
In March, D.C. residents who had complained about noise from airplanes around Reagon National Airport suffered a legal loss when a petition filed by D.C. neighborhood groups was turned down by a federal appeals court.